Insects > Monarch Butterflies > Monarch Butterflies

The King of Butterflies – The Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterflies are the most beautiful of all butterflies, some say, and are considered the “king” of the butterflies, hence the name “monarch”. There are lots of very cool things to learn about the monarch butterfly and we’ll try to get through most of them here.

Monarch Caterpillar Becoming a Chrysalis

Monarch Emerging from a Chrysalis

Outdoor Research Women's Sonata Down Parka Baltic MediumThe Life Cycle(s) of a Monarch Butterfly

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Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year. It’s a little confusing but keep reading and you will understand. The four stages of the monarch butterfly life cycle are the egg, the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. The four generations are actually four different butterflies going through these four stages during one year until it is time to start over again with stage one and generation one.

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    The fourth generation of monarch butterflies is a little bit different than the first three generations. The fourth generation is born in September and October and goes through exactly the same process as the first, second and third generations except for one part. The fourth generation of monarch butterflies does not die after two to six weeks. Instead, this generation of monarch butterflies migrates to warmer climates like Mexico and California and will live for six to eight months until it is time to start the whole process over again.

    It is amazing how the four generations of monarch butterflies works out so that the monarch population can continue to live on throughout the years, but not become overpopulated. Mother Nature sure has some cool ways of doing things, doesn’t she?


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